Movie Merchandise

Holiday Gifts for Movie Lovers

Now that it’s post-Thanksgiving – the real holiday season, in my book – it’s time to start thinking about what to get for those movie lovers close to your heart. Speaking from personal experience, it’s oftentimes hard to surprise your movie lover with something, as they likely have every DVD you can think to get them, and what interests are more interesting than movies, anyway? Fear not – I’ve got a few week’s worth of good ideas that will delight even the biggest movie nerd with a variety of gifts that reach beyond the $5 DVD section at Target. This week, I’m going to focus on movie-related home décor. Yes, it’s out there, and doesn’t stop at movie posters. Gifting home decor may sound boring, but doesn’t have to be – it’s a fun way to class up your or your friend’s dwelling, emblazoning every room with impeccable filmic taste.

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Merch Hunter - Large

I invite you to imagine a scene for a minute: a handsome man, with the kind of chiseled chin you could sharpen spoons on in an embarrassingly fine suit whose intricate detail blinded three tailors in the making sits at a Texas Holdem table, sucking daintily on a Vesper and with a cigarette lit for ornamentation. A gun presses into his ribs, another comfortably into his calf, and about his person are secreted millions of pounds worth of the British Intelligence Service’s most impressive, and most secret inventions. His smile cuts knowingly across an impeccably handsome face, eyes taking in infinitely more than his lush demeanor lets on as he imperceptibly stalks his prey. He is Bond, and no matter what you do about it, he is always going to be cooler than you. So, why the hell wouldn’t you want to make your life as close to his as possible? Your paunch might say more Gandalfini than Bond, and your social awkwardness would probably be the first, largest stumbling block in your application to MI5, but through the magpie-like acquisition of many fine pieces of James Bond merchandise, you too could pretend like a boss. And wouldn’t you know it, that’s precisely what this week’s Merch Hunter column is devoted to…

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These items would have no doubt made Simon’s list this week, but they all come with a hefty price tag. Marvel is auctioning off several pieces of screen-used props, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, they’re expected to go for anywhere between $100 – $30,000. So what’s up for grabs? You can check out the full Captain America catalog preview for yourself, but they’ve got everything from director’s chair backs from the production to Captain America’s shield in an ice resin. From concept art to Red Skull’s SS costume to Iron Man‘s Mark II “Autopsy” Suit to a full-scale motorcycle from Captain America to Thor‘s stunt hammer. Profiles in History, the auction house in charge, has got a lot to work with. It’s almost as if they’re selling everything they used to make the movies. The whole thing will be done online, but some of the bigger items will only be available at the Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo on April 14th. If you’re feeling generous, this Captain America War Bonds Poster would be perfect for my office.  

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Merch Hunter - Large

This week, in place of the usual triptych of found items and a T-Shirt of the Week, Merch Hunter is dedicated entirely to the mighty tee, the single most versatile member of the wardrobe family. Why 12? Well, science has proven that 12 is the magic number in terms of tee ownership (don’t look it up, it was published in a science journal you probably won’t know of…), allowing the owner to rotate nicely across two weeks, while taking a three day slot for whichever design is the Featured of the Week. After a few months of this rotation, throw in a few wild cards, thanks to supplemental purchase, and you’ll have a winning formula for T-shirt success. And yes, it really should be that mathematical. I seriously had to resist the urge to just make a list of the 100 Star Wars T-Shirts You Need To Own Now, but that will no doubt appear in the future, given how many incredibly impressive designs there are out there (and hardly any of them lining George Lucas’s pocket). For once, my inane wafflings are not needed at all to sell the inclusions below, just look at the pictures and see how many of them you can resist. I’d advise buying them all obviously: but try to only wear one at a time.

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Merch Hunter - Large

This week’s merchandise world has gone loopy for The Dark Knight Rises with two stellar announcements by two of the world’s biggest collectible players, in DC Direct and Hot Toys, and 2012 looks like it’s going to be a good year for anyone who collects Bat Merch. There’s also a couple of entries from Mattel, making this the most bumperest Merch Hunter column ever. It’s been a thrill-ride, and I’d like to thanks Jesus Christ and Chris Nolan for giving me the strength to achieve this monumental feat. So anyway, this week’s Merch Hunter is dedicated to Chris Nolan’s upcoming trilogy-ender, and the news that has got collectors’ tongues wagging and seats wet in the past week or so. So put away your wallets for now, because you won’t be able to buy what is listed here just yet – and in all honesty, saving up for them is probably going to be a pragmatic decision, given how much dough is likely to be needed to buy them.

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This week’s column is brought to you by the letter e – for eBay: the single greatest opportunity for collectors to pick up gems for a tiny portion of their value. Yes, it’s a market that is now unfortunately populated by self-styled “experts” like never before – in the olden, black and white days, you could go to a yard sale, or a car boot sale, and pick up prime merch for a pittance, smiling in the knowledge that you had just robbed some ‘orrible little cretin of their inheritance – but there are still opportunities out there if you look hard enough. And wouldn’t you know it, I’ve found a couple for you – just expect mostly exorbitant prices…

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It’s a dangerous time of year for movie merchandise collectors – unsure what your partners, friends or family have decided to buy, and yet torn by the need to invest in the latest additions to the market, many collectors go stir-crazy and can be found roaming the streets of every major city in the snow, tragically calling out for Turbo-Man. So the best thing to do to avoid that entirely fictional eventuality is to make a list, check it twice… that sort of thing. Only instead of writing doing which children are naughty and which are nice (and probably inviting some suspicious inquiries from disgruntled and probably scared parents), populate said list with all of the goodies you require come December 25th. That way, you can spend the rest of November and December buying the cheaper things you want yourself – that’s right, leave the £650 Batman busts for Grandma to buy. With that in mind, here we go with this week’s triumvirate of movie merch goodness – at “pocket money” prices for pockets that are beginning to feel the festive pinch…

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Being a professional obsessive might make me a social pariah, but it does offer me the opportunity to trawl the internet looking for my worldly fix with relative impunity – “what! This is work!” And even more importantly, it introduces me to some extremely cool stuff. Stuff that I will invariably buy on my own recommendation, or at least leave major hints to loved ones that I need them for Christmas of my birthday. Both of which are coming up, just in case you’re reading this, Mum… Anyway, a wise man once said that the important things in life aren’t things, but I would put it to him that he obviously hadn’t seen Disney’s Villain Vinylmations, or Sideshow Toys’ Batman busts, or Derek Deal’s posters, the big idiot. Luckily, no one here shares his false philosophies, so here are all of those lovely things below…

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Since it’s number 13, and we’ve all been infected with the Horror virus around these parts, this week’s column will be bloody and terribly scary. Well, not scary exactly (though I’m sure it could give Wes Craven’s decidedly non-trouser-messing recent stuff a good run for its money), but, like, dedicated to Halloween. Next week, with it being the last column before All Hallow’s Eve, I’ll be looking at some costumes you can pick up from the world of horror movies, so this week it’s all about murderous merch. Scary swag. Ghoulish goodies. And loads of other not-funny, but pleasant alliterative phrases in the same mold…

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To start – a news flash. The collecting world holds it breath in slightly anxious anticipation this week as The Bridge Direct, Inc dominated the merch-related news columns thanks to first being confirmed as Warner Bros toy maker of choice for next year’s massively prestigious The Hobbit line, and then blaming Justin Bieber’s haircut for losing them $100,000 in unsellable mop-topped dolls. The company have some previous in the merch arena, though nothing this grand yet, so it’s difficult to say whether they’ll meet expectations, and potentially pull a Star Wars action figures on us or not. My vote goes with not – there just isn’t the same fever in buying action figures these days, outside of Games Workshops, and those places are GRIM. Anyway, while we wait for those particular items (released next fall), which will include Basic Action Figures, Adventure Packs, Beast Packs, and Collector Figures, as well as “premium role play items” such as a Basic Sting Sword, a Basic Orcrist Sword, a Dwarven Battle Axe, and a Deluxe Sting Sword, here’s the usual weekly look at what else is out there for those interested in buying merch. Or at least mentally spending the thousands of dollars it would take to make these suggestions into a real collection… Hold tight for three hugely important auction lots from around the world’s greatest auction houses, including some letters written by a Rebel Without a Cause, Jim Carrey’s most puzzlesome film costume and Henry Winkler’s two wheeled nemesis. And yes, […]

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Lately my dreams have been haunted by a man of few words who wears shades and driving gloves, chews a tooth pick and looks at least 85% cooler than I could ever, thanks to the beautifully cut cloth on his back. It might be blood spattered and adrenaline soaked, but at some point in my life I will own the original jacket worn by Ryan Gosling in Drive – not a reproduction, the real deal, no matter what it costs me, that much I promise you. In honor of that compulsion, which is usually what drives my own merch obsession, and to offer a balance to last week’s bizarro column, this week I will be mostly offering up three of the coolest, rarest merchandise purchases that have ever captured my attentions. These are some of the items I would do terrible, terrible things for – which by the time I die, I will most certainly have owned one way or another. They are my merch Everests.

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I’m a great big fan of Christmas, and I’m already compiling a long-list of festive goodies that will make my Christmas Merch Hunter Bumper Annual Special 2011 the column-based event of the year. And since the holiday season is now creeping upon us, with branded chocolate boxes and cookies already in my local store (cue near-mental breakdown of all parents in vicinity), it is high-time I suggested some merch products that channel the spirit of the season, without the explicit baubles and sparkle and whatnot. What follows then is a trio of goodies that are as camp as Christmas (to borrow a popular phrase from round these parts) and don’t care a jot about class or what anyone else thinks of them. This week’s column was brought to you by the letter T. For tacky.

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In honor of the hugely anticipated release of the Star Wars George Lucas Pays No Attention To His Fans Special Edition Blu-Ray Collection, this week was always going to have a definite Star Wars flavor about it. But rather than simply go with a conventional approach, and proffer my thoughts on three mint, boxed Japanese variant action figures, I thought I’d try and hunt out some bona fide curios. Because believe it or not, George Lucas has allowed the good Star Wars name to be taken in vain an awful lot of times, and there is a whole world of crap that was created as a result. So sit back, click on and enjoy as this week’s column navigates the sub-space perils of some of the strangest moments from Star Wars Merch history. And by Jabba it’s a good one…

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Why Jurassic Park you probably didn’t ask? Well, there are two reasons. Firstly, Jurassic Park was one of the first films of my lifetime to acknowledge its own merchandising power and to achieve ridiculously high market saturation in almost every area. There is a scene within the film that typifies that self-awareness: when John Hammond gives his poetic monologue about the flea circus the camera pans and picks out his park merchandise including items that actually made it out on to shelves (including a hidden Making Of book by the authors of the real thing). It may seem cynical now, but that self-referential product placement was like catnip to me and my generation and it made the off-screen versions of the products somehow more invested in the magical exchange of cinema. That was the point where I realized that we weren’t just buying plastic dinosaurs, lunch boxes and bed sheets emblazoned with the cunningly marketable JP logo, we were buying a part of that movie universe. And the second: why not Jurassic Park? The film was phenomenal, and anyone suggesting that they shouldn’t immediately go now and make the fourth installment is a dastardly scoundrel who needs to re-evaluate their status as a film fan. And it should definitely be based on that legendary “Dino-soldiers” script (yes it is the most batshit idea ever, but Machete and Hobo With a Shotgun started off as similar jokes). So, hold tight for a nostalgic trip through the big wooden gates of Jurassic Park…

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Salutations from the seedy underworld of merch collecting, where myths are debunked, the fabrics of the finest secrets unfurled for discerning eyes, and the most glorious curios from lands far and exotic are offered as sacrifices to the Rejects’ lascivious hareem of readers. Well, not really, but that opening was far more poetic and sexy than the truth that I’m a slightly sad obsessive sitting in a Ghostbusters T-shirt and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama pants trying to convince other grown adults to buy what essentially amount to toys… Anyway, as film nerds (those of us who accept and embrace the term), we live in a world whose chief currency is fantasy, so this week’s offerings to the Merch Hunter Tomb of Essentials are each taken from a franchise that has made an unquantifiably massive impact on escapist cinema-lovers like myself. Read on, shell out and embrace the inner merch-nerd…

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As the whole world (or England at least) goes absolutely Goddamn batshit and falls to pieces in front of my eyes, it’s time to declare an age-old addage, cast forth historically from some of the greatest minds of human history… “And now for something completely different.” Socio-cultural insurrection is a lot like merchandise collecting. It frequent leads to anger, there’s like looting… and like… okay, so it’s not. But aren’t we all glad of that?! I don’t really want to use this column as some kind of soap-box, other than to push the dirty evils of capitalism and commodity acquisition of course, but for God’s sake, we’re all essentially the same bags of bones and gristle. Can’t we all just get along? Anyway, since what we all need on this side of the Atlantic is a little escapism, and maybe a superhero or two, this week’s column features merch picks inspired by both. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but mostly you’ll wish you had remortgaged your home enough times to afford everything.

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Officially Cool: Iron Man Week

As you found out yesterday, it is Iron Man week here on the Officially Cool column. Therefore, we are dropping 5 straight days of cool Iron Man gear on you in anticipation of the release of the big dawg this Friday, an event that signals the official start to the 2008 Summer Movie Season.

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The Signal

Free stuff from the film that AICN calls “The future of horror”

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published: 10.30.2014
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published: 10.29.2014
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published: 10.27.2014
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published: 10.24.2014
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